Inspiration

Our group was inspired by our own past academic experiences, from spending hours finding misplaced documents to our parents deleting important screenshots, we wanted to make a solution that would help empower learning through efficiency. Our solution, Betternotes was made by disorganized students for disorganized students.

What it does

Betternotes is a free online tool that helps students organize their notes, keeping everything tidy and efficient. So less time can be spent organizing your notes and more time spent on studying. Using it to write notes or homework essays, its built-in picture-casting allows users to quickly import any images of diagrams or graphs, which can be sorted. Finished work is saved in XAML folders, so you can share your work with others or save it while you take a break. The Simplicity and flexibility of BetterNotes allows it to be used for many different purposes.

How we built it

Our groups used both C# and Java to make BetterNotes due to the different capabilities of each language and each team member’s individual proficiency. C# (specifically, WPF with .NET 5.0) was used for specifically Windows platforms while Java was used for cross-platform.

Challenges we ran into

Over the course of development, we ran into many challenges. First of all, we couldn’t get the files to preserve formatting when saved, as the formatted (“fancy”) text would be saved as plain text, meaning any pictures, boldened, italicised, or underlined text would be lost. We then ran into an issue of the audio player on the C# version failing to pause/stop recordings without crashing. There was also an issue similar to this with the video player, although the crashes were less frequent. On the Java side, we had trouble scaling some images/icons as they would appear pixelated (on the contrary, C# did a good job at antialiasing). We also couldn’t get the whiteboard to work. However, we eventually solved all the issues, and we are very proud of that.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're very proud of how far we've gone; we never would have thought that we would be able to create a sophisticated multipurpose note taking, image viewing, audio listening, and video viewing app all in one project. None of our team members have coded features like these before, and we are proud of evreything we learned.

What we learned

Overall, through the course of the hackathon, we have learned many new things about many different coding platforms, operating systems, and tech in general, from the kahoots to the lessons. Added on is the experience of making this project together, making mistakes and improving over them, managing work and break, lets us prepare for future Hackathons. We also learned a lot of ways to program things in Java and C#, including new frameworks and different (but more efficient) solutions to problems.

What's next for Betternotes

In the future, we plan to create a website for this and release this software to the public (of course, as open-source software as that's what we're dedicated to). We're also dedicated to adding new features and fixing up existing features. Remember the audio/video bookmarking and clipping we talked about in the pitch video? We plan to work on that and refine it. Remember the whiteboard we talked about? We plan to make it easy to upload what you drew on it to our servers so you can share it with people, no account needed.

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